Friday, July 2, 2010

That's a mighty big bridge you've got there!

Viaduc de Millau

This is the Millau Viaduct, a 400+ million Euro project in the South of France completed fairly recently, in December 2004. It's a gigantic bridge, as you can probably appreciate, spanning the valley above the town of Millau. Several records were set over the course of design and construction, it's the tallest bridge in the world (taller than the Eiffel Tower), and has highest support pillar - yeah, somebody does keep track of such things... apparently! The entire project only took about three years from start to finish too, which seems quite impressive. Especially here in France, where the work week is only 35 hours anyway, and that's if we are not on strike that week!

The cool thing about this bridge though is that in addition to the functional part of alleviating traffic in the valley, it's also actually quite a picturesque site to look at... And on that note, some other memorable bridges around the world:

The Coolest (also the Oldest, actually) - the Forth Bridge outside Edinburgh, Scotland. Looking better than ever at night

The Best - San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge. Who knows if I'm biased or not, but it's hard not to love the looks of this bridge!

The Highest: Viaducto de Polvorilla - a railroad bridge outside of Salta, Argentina, the base is at an altitude of 4,200 meters above sea level

The most, Australian? Sydney's Harbor Bridge, yes it gets bonus points in this 'competition' for having the Sydney Opera House right beside it, life's not fair!

The Most Old School - for all its old world flare, London's Tower Bridge was actually constructed some thirty years later than the Forth Bridge above. I prefer the more modern-looking types, but it's surely quite the famous bridge

Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand - nope, I'm not picking on New Zealand here, I really did very much like these little bridges in the Tongariro National Park of New Zealand. Carrying capacity: one 'tramper,' a.k.a. hiker in the rest of the world.

Some views of the Brooklyn Bridge coming in a couple of weeks, I hope!

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